The heat in Ho Chi Minh City is unbearable

May 2, 2024 | 05:37 am PT
The heat in Ho Chi Minh City is unbearable
A woman crosses the street in HCMC as temperatures rises above 40 degrees Celsius, April 9, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Readers said greening is crucial not just for a comfortable life in Ho Chi Minh City but also for the sustainability of tourism, as constant heat wave will prevent visitors from coming.

They made the comments after many foreign tourists told VnExpress that Ho Chi Minh City was too hot they felt like they "could melt" while visiting the city during the recent Reunification Day holiday.

One reader, Lac Quoc Phong, shared his experience with a friend from Australia: "My friend had planned to hang around in Ho Chi Minh City for a while after a business trip, but quickly changed his mind because he could not stand the heat in the city. He said he hoped the city has more green areas to make the air less stuffy. Even though the temperature is high and the weather is hot for a long time, if there are many trees, people just need to stand in the shade to feel cool and comfortable, not as stuffy as now."

Toan Phong expressed worries about the future of Vietnamese tourism due to extreme weather conditions: "In the near future, heat waves will likely get more intense, and greener places will hold a significant advantage in attracting more tourists. If tourists come to Vietnam and complain that it’s too hot, then we already lose."

Comparing the urban environments of Vietnam and Germany, a reader known as Nguoixala commented on the differences: "I look around HCMC, everywhere is concrete, it really hurts the eyes. Every house is covered with cement. When my friends in Saigon looked at the photos I took of my house and the neighborhood I was living in Germany, they just gasped because they thought I was in the forest. The street I live in is full of dirt roads, where old trees and grass grow, and I can't find any concrete patches. Roads in the inner city are also green stone roads from the Middle Ages. Here, if I build a concrete yard like in Saigon, I will be fined an environmental fee, and I will become a weird person because everyone else has a lawn, dotted with bricks or gravel, not cement."

Miltontonmil called for a radical transformation of Ho Chi Minh City’s landscape: "If Ho Chi Minh City wants to be cooler, the only way is to cover the entire city with more than 60-70% of trees from the ground to high-rise buildings and limit personal motor vehicles. The benefits of trees are that they not only create shade, filter CO2 into O2, but also block the reflection of light from houses with glass, thereby helping to significantly reduce temperatures from inside the building to the street, as well as reducing power consumption. Trees are cheap but bring many benefits. Singapore is a country closer to the equator than us, but there, people have covered the entire city with trees for a long time. Therefore, the humidity in the air helps keep their country cool, not hot and stuffy from concrete like ours."

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